Manchester United are preparing to rival Chelsea for the signing of Declan Rice in the summer transfer window, as the race for his signature hots up.
The West Ham midfielder has been a standout performer for David Moyes’ side this season and attracted the attention of Frank Lampard who is interested in bringing him back to Stamford Bridge, where he came through the academy.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not want midfielder Jesse Lingard to leave Manchester United in January, despite rumoured interest from Ligue 1 side Nice.
However Manchester United are now interested in signing Rice for their defensive midfield position, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to overhaul his squad. According to ESPN, United are keen to sign a centre-back and a defensive midfielder in the summer, although they are wary of spending large amounts while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing.
It’s believed that a move for Rice is also dependent on the immediate future of Paul Pogba. The Frenchman has been in fine form over the last six weeks since his agent Mino Raiola revealed his intention to move the player on at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old has 18 months left on his contract at Old Trafford, but with the pandemic affecting the funds of all the major clubs across Europe, it’s unknown whether Juventus or Real Madrid could afford the transfer fee and wages it would take to move him.
Rice is expected to favour a move to Chelsea over United, who looked to sign him in last summer’s window too. Frank Lampard’s position could potentially be linked to any move the club make for him though, and with his future in doubt, United have chosen to make their interest known now.
It’s expected that West Ham would demand a fee of around £70m for their vice-captain, who has a contract at the London Stadium that runs until 2024 with an option to extend it by a further year.